Wintery stuff

Started the day with a thorough check of the Eider flocks off the pier – masses of them, seemingly more than last winter, but no King. Found 2 (well, maybe one, but seperated by enough time to make me think there were 2 individuals involved) last year here, but fuck all so far this year. Gave up in disgust, and didn’t bother looking at the lochs on the way home – the big freeze will have shifted wildfowl around Shetland in the past day, and all one-way traffic from this island.

Later on, took the mutts around the Taing again, making the most of a rare Shetland winter’s day – almost flat calm, and after 24 hours of on and off snow and plummeting temperatures, frozen everything. Every area of standing fresh water was frozen solid (the acid test being Fly galloping across the loch without going through and drowning), and masses of icicles hanging off the cliff faces along the shore.

Icy stuff

 Needless to say I saw very little by way of birds. The large gulls had all buggered off (no great loss there), and despite perfect sea-duck finding conditions, not so much as a Long-tailed Duck to be seen. Even Eider tend to be rareish at this end of the island, so quite why I live in hope of finding a King or a Steller’s on my patch I really couldn’t say. White-billed Diver is far more likely, but again no joy today – just 4 Great Northern Diver close inshore. Highligh of the seawatch were at least 10 Harbour Porpoises heading along the shore towards the Skerries – can’t think I’ve ever noticed them at this time of year before.

Wasted some time taking pictures of frozen peat-banks with Fly lolling around on them like a fat lardy collie. Back to checking sites on the Mainland in my lunch hours next week…



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